In Bangladesh, Stand for Her Land lead partner ALRD is working to change cultural perceptions about women’s land rights. Photo by ALRD
As an economic asset, land is the cornerstone of rural economies. As a place for growing food, it is indispensable. And as a means for promoting opportunity and gender equity for millions of rural women, it is a waypoint on our journey to save the planet. Moreover, secure land rights for women and girls are fundamental rights that guarantee their identity and heritage. This week, as we observe International Rural Women’s Day (Oct. 15), World Food Day (Oct. 16), and the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (Oct. 17), it’s crucial to note that land is the foundation for all three.
If we want to improve lives and alleviate poverty, achieve food security globally, and guarantee human rights and full dignity for all, we must invest in land rights for women.
Worldwide, more than 80 percent of people experiencing extreme poverty live in rural areas and rely on agriculture to earn a living, farming small plots of land for subsistence and perhaps a modest income. At least half are women. Equipped with secure land rights, these women have the opportunity and peace of mind to invest in their land to improve their harvests and their lives.
The Stand for Her Land campaign (S4HL) is working at the global and grassroots levels to increase awareness, generate resources, build capacity, and change mindsets about the relationship between women and land. With coalitions in six countries across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America, S4HL is truly a global campaign, with impact felt in the everyday lives of women and girls.